PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A more than $72,000 grant to turn an old rail bed in Pender County into a cross-country trail will be sent back.
County Commissioners approved the grant for Rails-to-Trails in 2011. The organization was hoping to use it to build their first mile of a cross-country trail that would eventually stretch from the North Carolina Battleship to Moores Creek National Battlefield. They have been planning the project for seven years.
The grant expires on November 15, 2013 and in order to be used the trail has to be constructed as originally planned.
Commissioners are now looking at the option of putting a railroad track into the same stretch of land and will be conducting a feasibility study this spring. In the past they have stated that while they support the project, they can't afford to lose out on potential economic opportunities that a possible working railroad would bring.
The resolution to decline the grant was approved during Monday night's meeting, according to a member of the County's Planning Department. Ben Andrea says he will be sending a letter to the grant agency after he receives the signed resolution.
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